The SimCenter: National Center for Computational Engineering provided the academic research for a new source of alternative energy unveiled by Bloom Energy Corporation in Sunnyvale, California.

Bloom Energy Corporation CEO KR Sridhar says the Bloom Energy Server is a patented oxide solid fuel cell technology, which will provide cleaner alternative energy. Extensive testing of the “Bloom box” was conducted at the National SimCenter.

Dr. Harry McDonald, Chair of Excellence in Computational Engineering, served as program manager over the testing. He attended the unveiling of the Bloom box held at eBay Inc., one of Bloom Energy Corporation’s clients.

“It was electric! CEOs from some of the largest corporations in the country talked about how happy they were with the unit,” McDonald said.

McDonald said he received several phone calls from companies who were interested in purchasing the Bloom box.

“They wanted to know if it really worked. I said the Bloom box did everything it stated it would do,” said McDonald.

Several companies including FedEx, Google, and Wal Mart are already using the Bloom box. The Electric Power Board based in Chattanooga will soon join them when a 100 kilowatt Bloom box is installed on top of its downtown headquarters by April.

McDonald, the former director of Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, said this is the National SimCenter’s largest project. Since January 2006, the National SimCenter has housed and tested a 5-kilowatt fuel cell. The unit could supply the energy needs of a 5,000 square foot home, including heating, cooling, and providing hydrogen to fuel an automobile. No connection to an energy grid is required. This spring the National SimCenter will receive a 100 kilowatt Bloom box for testing.

Sridhar recently told news magazine 60 Minutes that each Bloom Energy Server provides 100 kilowatts of power and fits in an area the size of a parking space.

To learn more about the UTC SimCenter visit http://www.utc.edu/Research/SimCenter/

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